Developer launches website for controversial port

| 15/11/2010

(CNS): Following the recent announcement that a controversial proposal has been submitted to government to develop a commercial seaport in East End, the developer has launched a website as part of his campaign to win over the public. There has been considerable public opposition to the proposal across the island, despite conditional support from government. The developer said the site, which was launched on Friday, was part of the planned public information programme about the East End Seaport to keep the people informed about the potential development. The facility is proposed to be developed in the high rock area of East End on land owned by the developer Joseph Imparato.

According to Imparato, it will be a maritime infrastructure that will facilitate five different types of marine based commercial activities, as well as a selection of complementary land based activities. This includes a commercial cargo port; hydrocarbon storage facility (oil and gas); cruise ship home port; transhipment of containerized cargo and a luxury mega yacht marina, the developer has stated.

Imparato has said he wants the people of the Cayman Islands to examine the facts about the East End Seaport in greater detail and consider the benefits for the Cayman Islands by visiting the new website.

Opposition to the project is coming from a number of different parts of the community. Both the independent MLA for North side, Ezzard Miller, and the PPM member for East End, Arden McLean, have articulated that they are both opposed for a variety of reasons, not least that they believe the development is nothing more than a front for the development to extract millions and millions of dollars worth of fill from the land where he proposes to construct the port.

Currently the law does not allow the developer to quarry the valuable fill on the land he owns because of its location. However, if he is given the go ahead to develop the land than he will be able to remove the rock.

There have also been serious environmental questions raised about the threat the channel and the basin created for the port would cause to the area’s fresh water lens and there have been suggestions that it will lead to the eventual salination of the water resources in the district, not only undermining the agricultural activity ion the area but turning the district’s interior forests into a desert. There are also concerns that during a hurricane the island will be even more vulnerable to major flooding as well as the loss of several key dive sights in the area.

Imparato has stated that an Environmental Impact Assessment will be conducted which will examine these issues and inform the development. “The project will include an appropriate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Developer and his team have met with the respective Government agencies to agree on the scope of the EIA. The findings of this EIA will inform the project, its final design, engineering and construction methodology,” the website reveals.

“The proximity to and impacts on the water lens will be examined, along with the other critical aspects as identified by the World Bank Standards for ‘Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines for Ports, Harbours and Terminals’ and internationally accepted standards and criteria.”

Imparato also claims that the dive sites would be protected by the design of the seaport entry channel, which will be to the west of the existing dive locations.

The developer further claims that the project will generate hundreds of job for the Cayman Islands during both the development phase and final operating phase. “Areas as diverse as construction, port administration, harbour management and regulation, commercial marine related as well as support industries, and industrial marine related as well as support industries will all benefit from increased employment.,” he said, adding that there would be a need for specialised international labour and professionals but he would still hire as many Caymanians as possible.

However, both Miller and McLean and a number of others who are against the project have pointed out that it will take several years before the proposed project would generate anyserious numbers of jobs as it could take as long as three years to quarry the fill from the site, a job which will be done by machines and will require little man power. Moreover, the two MLA’s have also raised concerns that the developer does not have deals in place with shipping companies or cruise lines to use the port if he goes ahead with the project.

The entire project, which the premier has said he is in favour of provided the business plan proves the viability of the port and that the EIA results are favourable, is expected to last six to seven years. Government has also indicated its willingness to allow the development to happen under a special corporation akin to that created to develop the London Docklands area in the UK, ring fencing it from the usual planning regulations and other laws.

Visit the website at

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And what about the disposal of the sewage, discharged from the cruise ships, produced by 4,000 passengers over a period of say, five days?

    And what about the transport of three thousand people from the airport to the ship and then back to the airport, twice a week?

    And what about the number of flights required  to accommodate these people?

    And what about the plans already submitted  for a mega-yacht port just by Burger King on South Church Street?

    And what about the way we treat visiting yachtsmen, who in one case lost his yacht, with all it’s recent refurbishments, a total of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, because a barely detectable amount of "weed" was found in his ashtray after he lost power in rough weather, and was forced to dock in Cayman?

    The confiscated yacht was destroyed by Ivan and towed out to sea and sunk. Will this heinous action entice yachtsmen to come here? The yachting world is a small one, and word gets around.

    If anyone believes this port will go ahead, then they probably believe the landing on the Moon was a hoax and that Duppies really exist.





  2. Anonymous says:

     Only fools stand in the way of progress… Arden…

  3. Libertarian says:

    At least if Joe is going to drill and blast the earth from his own property, sell it to the government to be used for the Cruise Berthing facility in Town; or, sell it overseas with the agreement that in order to purchase our soil, a piece of the G.T. Dump has to be purchased with it at a discount.

    Overall… the entire country ought to get something from a piece of its own country being sold away! No matter how much Joe says that the property belongs to him and he can do whatever he wants with, the earth underneath his property  to depths of below 50 ft. is a NATIONAL ISSUE! The magnitude of this project will effect his neighbors.

    This is a lesson we need to learn!  Government should implement laws protecting the Cayman Islands from landowners who think that they can do whatever they want on their land. That is not so… if whatever you do may pose harm to your neighbors. Landowners who has farm lands nearby should be very much concern and try to have laws protecting them from this sort of UNLIMITED LAND FREEDOM

    • Alan Nivia says:

      If you are saying that the Government should impose restrictions on the use of private land even where there is no harm to neighbouring users (which is what you say in your first two paragraphs), you don’t really get what Libertarianism means do you?

      • Libertarian says:

        Never said that…if you read something else, that is not what I meant.

        In princple, this is what I meant – "freedom to do what you want on your land, so long what you do does not infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others"

        What rights?

        What freedoms?

        Well… here are some:  the right to life, security, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

        I said, "at least"… if government is going to carry on with this project, Cayman should get something out of it, because most definitely this project I feel will have a negative impact on the neighboring lands used for farming.

        You see… Liberty has to be confined to certain laws protecting people from harm and property damage. You can’t just have liberty and no-law… that’s anarchy!

  4. Anonymous says:

     I was recently at a "tasting" event where you took a small plate and filled it with a few samples from various food vendors.  A taste of this and a taste of that.  This lady thought it was an "all you can eat buffet" and piled her plate so high, it eventually buckled and collapsed under the pile of stuff she had accumulated.  Embarrassing  and unfortunate; greed.  This is like what I see happening in Cayman.  Build, build, develop, develop, tear up to build up, tear down to put down more "development’; on and on it goes.  This is a small island and it cannot hold much more.  The fragile environment of a tiny island is limited.  I learned this as a child in school in Cayman.  Have we forgotten?  The frightening aspect of a huge Port in pristine East End should bring shudders of horror to anyone who cares about the long range sustaining of the environment on tiny Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    More development is not the answer to Government having a sustainable revenue base.

    A seaport in East End that requires dredging 14 million cubic yards of material, is not an impossible engineering feat but one that will take a very long time. The developer will have to sell a lot of aggregrate, or find a lot of land to store this on.

    Howlong will it take to dredge 95 acres of land? Will the road have to be diverted? How much longer will the commute to George Town be because of the new road?.

    • justin says:


      SO OUR LAWS HAVE IT – Not only Joe

      But I… can drill and quarry my own land in George Town and sell it someplace else!

      I can see it now…

      Cayman Islands full of holes or lakes for that matter!

      • noname says:

        Indeed. A small one opened itself up in the Tropical Gardens are of George Town recently, right alongside the runway.

  6. eastender says:

    All I say, whatever they use to close off the port has to be stronger than the sea, because when hurricane comes, God help the ones who will be in the hotel!

  7. Anonymous says:

    makes me so angry to see how richies can make people ignorant.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just expensive and pretty smoke and mirrors to change the rules to enable a quarry. Nothing more. Pure vandalism and greed, and an insult to all those who love Cayman for the proper reasons. Please blow up somebody else’s island not ours. As for exporting the fill, the figures don’t add up. Try and think of something more convincing.

  9. NJ2Cay says:

    Obviously with all the objections to development on the island and the government in the need of new revenue. One should ask is it time for everyone resident and nonresident to start paying property and income taxes to increase government revenue. So there’s no need for new development.

    Are you folks willing to dig into your pockets to keep this unspoiled look to the Cayman Islands. There are a lot of things needed to maintain the island and these thing cost a lot of money. Who’s expected to pay for it all if the government is impeded from new money making endeavors.
    Algae is destroying the reefs do to an old, outdated and under maintained system of Septic Tanks, the Island need a costly overall to the Sewer system, There aren’t enough police on the street so crime is getting rampant, Cayman is not the hot tourist destination it used to be so businesses are losing money and closing. Property value is dropping, Unemployment is rising. Need I say more.  What are you people thinking, it time for Cayman to do everything it can to compete, or it will soon be a memory of what used to be.
    You can’t have your cake and eat it too…


    • whodatis says:

      "What are you peoplethinking, it time for Cayman to do everything it can to compete, or it will soon be a memory of what used to be."

      Preserving this "unspoiled look" will prove to make us extremely competitive in the long run.

      However, some of us are unable to grasp this notion.

      By the way – every single western nation is currently suffering from the ills that you have mentioned in your post.

      Have you forgotten that we are in the middle of global financial meltdown?

      You and I both know that you are being very disingenuous in your arguments.

      Good attempt at the age old art of scaremongering though – but sorry, not quite good enough.

      No Port in EE!

      End of.

    • Anonymous says:

      NJ2Cay, you have a point about having your cake etc., but your argument holds no water in relation to this proposed Port. First, the port will never happen and is a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the real  plan, which is a quarry. And second, the quarry will compete with established mining operations, while supplying a diminishing market, thus  putting others out of work. The overall take in Government revenues will remain unchanged.

      As for the export of the material, the cost calculations  preclude this as a meaningful possibility. The few stakeholders who plan to  make money out of this are very rich already and appear to care little about the Island. It is their insatiable need to expand their already bulging pocket books, not the good of the Island, that is driving this lunacy forward. For some enough is never enough.  The very idea of exporting a physical part of these tiny islands, as if we have land to spare and can afford it is like something out a Kafka novel.

      • NJ2Cay says:


        I would have to agree that it doesn’t make sense to export the fill, when I know for a fact the available fill on the island is limited and expensive. Whatever fill is removed could surely be used locally for new road elevations and leveling properties for new homes. I know that on the average it can cost someone looking build a new home tens of thousands of dollars just to fill the land prior to building. They should not be allowed to export 1 single grain of the island.
        But I believe that if properly planned and managed, this Port could really benefit Cayman in the long run. I am anxious to see the outcome of all of this.
  10. lancelot says:

    We see the wave action every year by the Blow Holes!  How is the mouth-entrance of this Port going to stand up to a storm surge or hurricane?  There is no reef out there!  If you take a drive along the road going up to East End, you will only see the ironshore and Ocean next to it – NOTE:  THERE IS NO EXTERIOR REEF PROTECTING THE EAST OF THE ISLAND!

    Any Environmental Assessment that does not addresses the possible impact of a Hurricane against the entrance of the Port, is not a proper assessment!

  11. Anonymous says:

    XXX The development will never happen. The rock will be blasted and sold for high price and then………….NOTHING!

    Developmental impact studies my ass! They will just be bent or ignored as usual. Saltwater will leak into ground water and ruin the soil in East End.

    Good Bye farming………………

    • Joe Bananas says:

      And the people of Cayman are completly powerless to do anything about it.

  12. whodatis says:

    One more thing …

    Does anyone else find it absolutely absurd that this issue of the proposed East End port has been whittled down to "a matter for the Eastern residents to decide upon"??!!

    Hello! This is a TINY island – and this ridiculous and unnecessary project carries the potential to drastically affect the ENTIRE economy of this country!

    For us to approach such a major matter from this angle is extremely short-sighted and should pose as an alert to us the people that it may be a good idea to overview our policies of national development.

    Democracy can be an aide for "the people" or a tool for "the elite".

    The question is: What do we want democracy to stand for in the Cayman Islands?

  13. Para-Ann Springfield says:

    Ha Ha Ha.

    Come on now… we’re not that naive. I fail to accept that there are any real plans to put the port out in East End.

    No way could it possibly be economically viable for the developer, ecological impact too significant even for the most insensitive developer/government, geographical location removes the possibility for it to be a true “safe harbour”. The PR for the development is, in my opinion nothing more than a visual Jedi Mind Trick.

    Let me use this somewhat cryptic analogy as a preamble to my submission:) When you get a headache what do you do? Take a painkiller. But the painkiller doesn’t "kill" the pain; it simply slows down the pain receptors in your brain. In other words, you may think that you are doing something positive like actively fighting the pain, but you are simply just fooling yourself.

    So, in the context of the alleged port (the pain), the community is somewhat distraught. The big PR push with no apparent regard for the opinion of the people only serves to aggravate the pain more and more. And clearly from the communal uproar this is one pain that the people are not willing to ride out, we need a painkiller. Mark my words, the painkiller is coming, its coming in the form of a solid, researched and scientifically supported proposal to relocate the port to the North Sound; which will coincide nicely with the dredging for the mega yachts.
    In this forum I’m not for or against any development, I’m simply against the continuous manipulation of the masses by “slights-of-hand”.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So, for the first 7 years ONLY one guy is making the money here.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cruise ship home port? The drawings (more detailed in Friday’s Compass) show room for one cruise ship. Am I missing something?

  16. whodatis says:

    Dear Mr. Imparato,

    Your project could come with the promise of a personal butler, geisha and the ‘Coming to America’ bath girls – you would still result in a "no sale" over here.

    Nothing in your website has, or could ever, convinced me to agree to what will essentially amount to the DESTRUCTION of yet another unspoiled, precious and rare piece of Cayman.

    Please simply go away.

    We don’t want it.

    This is not 1965 – the people of Cayman have seen it all before and are much wiser today.

    However, I do wish you continued success in all your other endeavors.

    Kind regards,


  17. Libertarian says:

    There are alot of questions that need to be answered, such as:

    What will the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment be?

    Will there be enforced rules, regulations, and policies in place to protect Caymanians on the job from being poorly paid, mistreated, and required to work unnecessary hours for the dollar?

    How will this project impact the East End district in terms of development?

    Unless these questions are answered –

    I must pend judgement!

    I can not jump on the Premier and Joe’s side nor on Alden and Miller’s side. There is just not enough details concerning this project.

    • Anonymous says:

      EIAs always have recommendations favourable to the person who is footing the bill.

      Government could always put out a tender for an EIA to determine the best location for a new dock, but that would be considered an unnecessary expense and not conducive to inward investment.

  18. Doesn’t matter how many websites he launches we still don’t want it.  Fix the Spotts Landing for the cruise ships and upgrade the GT dock for cargo ships. No way no how do we want it in East End  !!!!!!!

    • Ebanks-Bodden-Bush says:

      Cruse ships wont go to spots because they cant anchor there so if u want that u will destroy the reef, they have 2 stay on there engines when they go there